La montería (Guerrero)

Luis Sagi-Vela, Natalia Lombay, Luisa de Córdoba, Santiago Ramallé. Coro Cantores y Orquesta de Conciertos de Madrid, c. Enrique Navarro
Zafiro ZOR 173

Lina Huarte, Julia Bermejo, Manuel Ausensi, Gerardo Monreal. Coro Cantores de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica, c. Indalecio Cisneros
Novoson Z-539

Both sets of Guerrero's English Hunting operetta are highly recommendable, but the Zafiro is currently only available in a sub-fusc pirated CD transfer, which rather knocks it out of court.

This is a pity. Not only does Navarro offer a fuller text than Cisneros for Novoson, including the bouncy Preludio in its entirety; but Sagi-Vela is matchless in the dominant role of Sir Edmund, amorous heir to the hunting Duke of Jetkinsson. His soft, legato line and elegant phrasing are much superior to Ausensi's coarse-cut beefiness in this lightweight score.

In other respects, the Novoson (old BMG) set is more than a match for its rival. Huarte offers a sweet but touching Marta, and although de Córdoba as Ana is her usual characterful self in the sexy tango milonga, Bermejo and Monreal make for a deliciously urbane comedy pair. With better recording, excellent notes and a full synopsis and libretto, the Novoson has the field to itself.